After 15 years, one of the most successful names in Formula One returns to the grid with the launch of the Lotus T127. Note that we said "name," not necessarily "team," since Lotus F1 Racing is not officially affiliated with Group Lotus, the carmaker and engineering firm. There is a somewhat tenuous relationship, since the team that began as Litespeed is largely backed by the Malaysian government, and Malaysian automaker Proton owns Lotus. The team actually acquired the rights to the Lotus name for F1 racing purposes from David Hunt, brother of the late world champion, James Hunt.
While the team is new, it's staffed by F1 vets, including technical director Mike Gascoyne and drivers Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen. Lotus F1 Racing also operates out of the Racing Technology Norfolk (RTN) facility where the 2003 Le Mans-winning Bentley Speed 8 was developed and built.
There's an upside to the relative lack of major sponsors for the reborn Lotus racing team: the car is liveried in the traditional green and yellow colors used up until the late 1960s. Just as those late-'60s Lotus Type 49s introduced the Cosworth DFV to F1, the T127 will be one of several cars using the latest Cosworth V8 this year. Hopefully, things work out better than the last time we saw Lotus on the track. Fans can follow the team at its new website, http://www.lotusracing.my. There's a video of the T127's first shakedown run at Silverstone after the jump.